And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew. (61) And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. (62) And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.Luke 23:60b-62
“And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew.”
The fact that the rooster crowed “while he yet spake” left no doubt in the mind and heart of Peter as to Jesus prediction coming true. Can you imagine the weight of this reality hitting him at the noise of that bird. If that didn’t weigh heavy on Peter, notice the next phrase.
“And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter.”
What a dramatic moment. Apparently, Peter was in a place where Jesus could make eye contact with him. The Sovereign Son of God knew what had just happened, and in the midst of His own trial He turned and made eye contact with Peter. We are not told what expression Jesus had on His face. Was it anger? Was it sadness? Whatever it was, we can be sure it was not an easy thing to see. Look at Peter’s response. He had two reactions.
First, he remembered.
“And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.”
In the drama of the night, Peter had forgotten what Jesus had said. At least it wasn’t front of mind. When he denied Jesus that third time, while he was speaking that rooster crowed, and Jesus turned and looked at Him. The memory came flooding back. He had been so sure of his own allegiance to Jesus. In one moment he was, in His own mind, ready to take on hell with a watergun. At the next moment, he was worried about being identified with Jesus at all. When the rooster crowed, and eye contact was made, it led to this second reaction.
Second, Peter wept.
“And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.”
He had to get out of there. He couldn’t stay. The emotion of the moment was too overwhelming. What did those around the fire think as he got out of there? The flood of tears coming as he realized what he had done. This personal failure on top of what they were unjustly doing to Jesus must have been overwhelming to Peter. In the coming few days he must have felt an incredible agony in defeat.
Disbelief led to distance. Distance led to denial. Denial led to defeat.
One of the evidences of the work of God in our lives is the desire that we have not to disappoint the Lord. None of us want to deny him, and yet we have all denied Him at some point. There have been times where we had an opportunity to speak up and we did not. There have been opportunities to witness left undone. There have been opportunities to stand up for what is right, and we cower. And if you find yourself saying, “Not me. I have never done that. I would never do that.”, I believe that Peter would tell you to be careful. Paul would tell you, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”(1 Corinthians 10:12). John would tell you “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”(1 John 1:8). I believe Jesus would tell you, “Pray that ye enter not into temptation.” (Luke 22:40).
We do not want to experience disbelief, distance, denial and defeat. Let’s not be overconfident. Let believe God and dwell in the Word so that our faith would grow. Let our confidence be in the Word of God.
What do you need to do today to avoid spiritual defeat?